Google+ Reading Teen: Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala: Book Review and Giveaway

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala: Book Review and Giveaway



Title: Don't Breathe a Word
Author: Holly Cupala
Series: Stand-alone
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen; Original edition (January 3, 2012)
Buy the book: Paperback | Kindle
Joy Delamere is suffocating.
From asthma, from her parents, and from her boyfriend, Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out. She can take his cruel words, his tender words . . . until the night they go too far.

To escape, Joy sacrifices her suburban life to find the one who offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. He introduces her to a world of fierce loyalty, to its rules of survival, and to love—a world she won’t easily let go.

Set against the backdrop of the streets of Seattle, Holly Cupala’s power­ful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the secrets we keep, and the ways to redemption. But above all, it is an unflinching story about the extraordinary lengths one girl will go to discover her own strength.
I'm going to start off by saying that this book had WAY more profanity than I usually read or care for in a book.  Now that I got that out of the way, I'm going to gush.

At a glance:
Don't Breathe a Word is an amazingly powerful and fantastically written book that shows you the harsh realities of abuse, teenage homelessness, and other tough issues, without being depressing or losing that sense of hope I long for when reading a book.  It was heartbreaking, but it was also funny and exciting and romantic and beautiful.  Even if you don't normally read contemporary, I think you will love this book.


Review:
I don't read a whole lot of contemporary.  Especially books that tend to deal with issues, whether it's abuse, disorders, drugs, or the like.  I just tend lean more toward fantasy, paranormal, or dystopia.  But I did read Holly Cupala's Tell Me a Secret and really connected with it, so I was excited to read Don't Breathe a Word, to see what Holly would do this time.  This book blew the roof off any contemporary I've ever read.  I loved it!

I think this has a lot to do with the fact that Holly wrote it in such a way that you never felt hopeless.  You could always see a light at the end of the tunnel.  She also wrote in past and present, using flashbacks to reveal more and more about why Joy ran away, and the abuse and shame that she had to endure before leaving.  There was a mystery element the book had that added to the appeal of the story, and the pacing was perfect.

I fell in love with each and every one of the characters.  Ok, maybe not Asher.....ack!  But the others, even when they were being total idiots, I just wanted to adopt them, and take care of them and tell them they are worth something.  I loved Joy, and CREED!!!  Especially Creed!  I loved that even though he was a broken person, he still did all he could to protect the others.  I can't tell you how much I love listening to someone play guitar and sing, so I could just hear Creed in my head.  Two of the characters I felt the most for, though, were May and Santos.  They seriously just made me want to cry.

Holly did such an amazing job with the intensity and the setting as well.  I was in constant fear for the lives of these kids.  Whether it was from creepy stalker guy, or Asher, or the police, or other gangs, my nerves were standing on end all the time.  I felt like I could see the places that they were living and "working" at in Seattle.  I've never been there before, yet I could picture it all clearly in my head.  Some will undoubtedly say that the ending was unrealistic, but just because something isn't probable, it doesn't mean it couldn't happen.  I thought it was perfect.  I would have been upset with anything less.

Make sure you follow all the tour here!



Content:
  • Sexual Content: Heavy
  • Profanity: Very Heavy
  • Violence: Moderate, including abuse
  • Other Notables: Drinking, Drug use, Prostitution, Teenage Homelessness, Theft

For more details, check out Don't Breathe a Word on Parentalbookreviews.com


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46 comments:

  1. I don't think I can survive on the streets. the cold temperature alone will do me in. either that or i'll lose my sanity.

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  2. I dont exactly have everything given to me on a silver platter, but I'm content. I doubt I'll survive the streets! Besides, I wouldn't be able to haul around my bookshelf! lol ;]

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  3. No way!! I'm far too wimpy about cold weather. I cna't imagine living that way. :/

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  4. Since I was a kid I've always been afraid of becoming homeless, it scares me so much I came up with plans of what I would do and where I would go and what I would take if that ever happen.

    But no matter how "prepared" I think I am, I don't think I'll ever be able to survive. Much less on the streets of this country, D:

    Every time I come to this blog (which is very often) you guys convince me to buy more books! D: I'm gonna be broke and homeless if I don't watch it! D:

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  5. No. And its not about being scared of the dark or the cold or any of that. I get attacks of anxiety if Im not sleeping in my bed. Which is really annoying. So no I don't think I could survive the streets.

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  6. I definitely could not survive on the streets. I don't have enough street sense.

    I don't read much contemporary either but really want to read this.

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  7. I could if I had too. But, I would do everything in my power to try to stop from being homeless in the first place.

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  8. No definitely not. I'm way to scared to survive on the streets on my own. And if i'm on the streets I can't carry all my books around so that's not gonna work for me ;)

    Thanks for doing the giveaway!

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  9. I don't think I could survive on the streets. For one thing I couldn't stand the cold and I wouldn't be able to defend myself. Tore923@aol.com

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  10. I have absolutely NO delusions about being able to survive on the street. I'm spoiled by everyday comforts, so I certainly couldn't do it.

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  11. Nope, I have like, no survival skills, or social skills. Plus I'd probably have less access to books!!! Oh, the horror!!!

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  12. For 2 or 3 weeks maybe, but definitely not a month or more unless I'm desperate. Of course, being homeless isn't something I'd want though.

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  13. I would never be able to surivive on the streets, I'm not really a strong person, so probably wouldn't have the will power to do it. I would probably burst into tears over the littlest thing!

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  14. That would be a resounding NO. hah, I'm not spoiled, but I do bruise easily. The streets would be too much for a person like me who needs a bed and a tv and, well, food.

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  15. I really don't think I could survive on the streets. My brother on the other hand... :)

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  16. I think I could as long as it wasn't winter. I am horrible when it comes to the cold, but I am pretty tough and resourceful. I think that survival instinct would kick in and you do what you need to. I just recently started reading contemporary so I have been looking for some really great ones to read. Thanks for the great review.

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  17. If I were alone, possibly but I would never wish it on anyone!

    Holly Cupala is an INCREDIBLE author. Her books tell it like it is and that is what I love about her! I do not read contemporary as a general rule but HOLLY is one of the FEW exceptions!

    Thank you!
    Mindy

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  18. No I'd most likely get an anxiety attack first few minutes.

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  19. I would never be able to survive on the streets. I am a total scaredy cat!

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  20. I don't think I would survive on the streets! I don't like cold weather and mean people scare me!

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  21. This book sounds great. I don't know how I'd survive if I'd have to live on the streets

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  22. nooo. :D
    i'm a boy. but still can't

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  23. I seriously doubt I could survive on the streets....maybe if I had A LOT of help....maybe.

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  24. I don't know.. I guess if my life depended on it, I would do my best to survive. I would try really hard to survive. And even harder to find myself a new home.

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  25. HA. Probably not. I'm just too needy. Give me indoor plumbing at least!

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  26. I would love to say that I could but to be completely honest I probably wouldnt even survive one night... stick me in a forest however and thats a different story!!

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  27. I like to think I would, but in all honesty I probably wouldn't. I'm too needy hahah

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  28. No. I'm too chicken and hate being cold. ;)

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  29. Probably not, but if I had to, I might be able to

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  30. I don't think I could make it on the streets. I have a lot of medical problems, but if not for that reason, I think I might be able to if I had a great person to help me along. BUT, I'd rather NEVER be homeless or on the streets.

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  31. No, I dont think I could. I enjoy showers too much!

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  32. No, I definitely couldn't. I'm too spoiled and used to having all the comforts of home. I would be miserable. I'm sure it's also very dangerous and I wouldn't know what to do in a bad situation.

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  33. No way this Canadian is very spoiled. It'll be freezing and I need some indoor plumbing

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  34. I think I would be able to survive, I am adaptable. Though it is not something I would ever prefer, the key word is survive

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  35. I doubt it. I just don't think I am that resourceful!

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  36. If it was just to survive in the cold then I would be fine. But then I would probably get very grumpy and hungry and tired. No I would not be good on the streets. Maybe a few days but nothing longer.

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  37. I think I could survive on the streets. I always had very good street smarts.

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  38. Maybe for like a few days.....But only if there's no extreme heat or cold!

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  39. I would like to say yes but I do not really know if I could or could not.

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  40. I think I could survive on the streets, but I don't want to have to find out. I'm a pretty determined and self-motivated person. If I had to do it, I would do my best to live.

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  41. I hope I could be that strong but no, I don't think so. I love luxury too much to be able to survive. Maybe the first days, but no longer.

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  42. Yea Im pretty tough I grew up with 5 older brothers so I can take anything :)

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  43. I really want to read it! and in Spain is not published yet :(

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